Sushi Robot Revolution

MTBento Yakitoria has just a counter for three diners and a table for two.
The sushi-bot has arrived. No, it's not some B-movie mechanical monster with a brain made of sushi, but the brawn behind the new chain concept from Yakitoria: Bento Yakitoria.

Embracing the 21st century, Bento has employed the services of a fully automated sushi robot to churn out an incredible 1,000 to 2,000 pieces of ready-wrapped sushi per hour. By foregoing fallible fingers, such robot power allows Bento to bring sushi down to a new level of accessibility.

The selection starts at a mere 25 rubles apiece for either salmon or perch and averages at around 35 to 45 rubles. Rolls start at 90 rubles for fresh cucumber. The most expensive dishes in the shop, dragon rolls with eel, snow crab, masago caviar and cucumber, or the Philadelphia rolls, both go for 200 rubles.

There is a limited selection of other dishes such as miso soup (40 rubles) that is dispensed from a small vending device. Steamed buns come filled with either chicken or pork (both 35 rubles). There are a couple of fresh salads and hot mains. A standard range of beverages is also offered, with soft drinks starting at 40 rubles for a 250-milliliter bottle. Kirin beer in the bottle costs 75 rubles.

Bento does offer a handful of seating spaces for eating in -- three at a counter and two at a small table -- but its main focus is on providing take-out to the surrounding neighborhood. Presently there is only one Bento shop, located down south. There are plans, however, for a dozen or so more in the near future.

28 Ul. Tsyurupy, 128-9544, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., M. Noviye Cheryomushki.